Research-in-Process was the title of a month long series of talks and discussions held in the Duveen Studio at Tate Britain in March 2009, which was designed to be the culmination of a two year period of research fieldwork. The aim of the programme was to exhibit the fieldwork data generated by participants, extend the range of people contributing to the Tate Encounters research project and establish the beginning of public dialogue and debate about the research questions and the researchâ€™s emergent findings.
The research had asked what narratives of national British culture were contained in the collection and displays of British Art at Tate Britain and how such narratives were encountered by a non-traditional museum audience and individuals with migrant or diasporic backgrounds. The emergent findings presented a challenge to established taxonomies of race and ethnicity as meaningful measures of cultural difference and turned attention back upon the professional practices of museum in understanding the reproduction of exclusionary social practices.
The objectives of the month long Duveen Studio programme was framed by four related areas of research interest: Â education practice within the museum; the status of digital media in museum practice and culture; the racialisation of cultural policy and the role of museums in social regeneration; and narratives of British visual culture through curatorship.
Research-in-Process was conceived as a live research encounter in the museum about the museum, by inviting artists, academics and museum professionals who had an invested and parallel interests to make their own responses to our framing of questions about art museum audiences.
Friday 20 February – Sunday 22 March, Duveen Studio, Tate Britain
Details for each programme, click on the title to listen to the recording.
Education Practice at Tate 1970-present
In considering how museums have significantly reconfigured their relationships with audiences over the last decade and given how Learning as a department carries a notable responsibility in developing audiences, this series of interviews with present and past members of Tate staff aims to create an understanding and account of how Education practice within Tate has historically evolved from information and explanation to interpretation, engagement to participation, informal knowledge to professional research.
Questions to be considered in this programme in relation to Education practice are:
- Since its inceptionÂ what are the historical legacies of the original Education Department within the operation of Tate and more recently Tate Britain?
- Where has Education been historically positioned and now?
- What kind of agency does Education hold within the production and reproduction of knowledge within Tate?
- What is its relationship to a research practice?
- How does it configure its publics?
For each programme strand we invited the co-chair or observer to contribute a review of the programme strand’s discussions. For Programme A we invited Dr Malcolm Quinn, Reader in Critical Practice and Research Co-ordinator, Wimbledon College of Art to take up this role. Click here to read the review or here to download as PDF
Monday 23 February
Michael Compton joined Tate in 1965 as Assistant Keeper in the Modern Collection (now Collection). In 1970 he was appointed as Keeper of Exhibitions and Education Department to be assisted by 2 Assistant Keepers.Â In 1980, he became responsible for the exhibitions programme, Education and the Archive & Library
Simon Wilson joined Tate in 1967 as Official Lecturer. He became Head of Education in 1980, Curator of Interpretation in 1991, Communications Curator in 2000, and retired from Tate in 2002.
Tuesday 24 February
Tim Marlow began working at the Tate Gallery as a lecturer in the Education Department and subsequently move to the Communications Department where he established and edited Tate – The Art Magazine
From1987 to1993 Sylvia Lahav was Curator of schools at the Tate Gallery, and from 1994 to1995 she was Curator responsible for devising and co-ordinating lectures and events and for the planning co-ordination and management of a large varied programme of events, conferences, seminars. From 1996 to 1999 she became Curator ofÂ Public programmesÂ at the Tate Gallery moving in 2000 to Tate Modern as part of the team established there.
Wednesday 25 February
Anna Cutler is Head of Learning at Tate Modern and took up the post in 2006.
Andrew Brighton worked for Tate between 1992 and 2002. He was Curator of Public Events at the Tate Gallery, Millbank until he moved in 1999 to Tate Modern to become Senior Curator: Public Programmes.
Thursday 26 February
Toby Jackson joined Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1988 as the founding Head of Education and Public Programmes and a member of the Galleryâ€™s senior management team, later becoming the founding Head of Interpretation and Education at Tate Modern in 1999.
Helen Charman was previously Curator, Teacher Programmes, Tate Modern
Friday 27 February
Richard Morphet joined the Tate Gallery in 1966 and retired in 1998. His first appointment was as Assistant Keeper of the Modern Collection, becoming Deputy Keeper of it in 1973, and subsequently Keeper from 1986 until 1998.
Tate Britain Duveen Studio
Resolutely Analogue?: Art Museums in Digital Culture
At the outset the research project Tate Encounters chose to use new media for volunteer participants to record their own encounters with Tate Britain as well as a research tool for reflexive documentation and commentary. This took the practical form of a dedicated intranet site and the use of mobile digital recording.
In using new media the project made a number of assumptions about how undergraduate student participants used new media, how this related to the ways in which a national art museum understood the potential of new media and what the use of new media might produce as research data. Having now completed two years of fieldwork, the project is now reflecting upon its initial assumptions and raising a number of critical questions which it aims to share and extend with a wider group interested in the development of new media in relationship to museums.
Some of the initial questions relate to the following:
- To what extent does the web visitor have agency to â€˜act backâ€™ or to â€˜authorâ€™ their interactions with museum websites?
- How is new media being conceived as an â€˜interpretativeâ€™ or â€˜augmentingâ€™ dimension of the museum experience and with what effects?
- How do museums see and understand the value of the use of personal mobile media within the museum?
These questions have been grouped under the title â€˜Resolutely Analogue? Art Museums in Digital Cultureâ€™ to signal the tension between change and continuity, between new media enthusiasms and traditional museological practices. Issues such as the use of media in the gallery centered on authority and provenance, ownership and copyright, and user engagement will also be discussed throughout the weekâ€™s programme.
Monday 2 March
Learning and Teaching in New Media: Questions of Literacy
- Richard Colson, Artist and Reader in Digital Arts at Thames Valley University
- Mike Philips, Reader in Digital Art & Technology and Director of i-DAT [Institute of Digital Art & Technology], University of Plymouth
- Paula Roush, New media artist and lecturer at London South Bank University and the University of Westminister
This session will have presentations on perspectives of teaching new media and will focus upon questions of the cultural contexts of new media practices, knowledge and understanding in curricula design and teaching for interactivity.
Tuesday 3 March
Artists Using Digital Tools: Social subjects and Digital Aesthetics
- Graham Harwood, Artist and educator
- Keith Piper, Artist and Reader in Fine Art at Middlesex University
- Gary Stuart, Head of Multimedia at Iniva since
- Roshini Kempadoo, New media artist, photographer and Reader in Media Practice at University of East London
This session looks at new media art projects which have had a relationship to gallery and museum exhibition and asks questions about how artists working with new media understand the context ofÂ working within contemporary art context and what their experience has been.
Networks of Users: Communities and Interests
Marc Garret, Net and new media artist
Matt Locke, Commissioning Editor for Education and New Media at Channel 4
Anna Colin, Exhibitions curator, Gasworks
Honor Harger, Artist and curator
This session focuses upon new media practitioners who have looked beyond the context of the museum and gallery in generating a presence for innovatory, independent practice on the Intranet and with what consequences and outcomes.
Wednesday 4 March
11.00 â€“ 13.00
New Media and the Museum: Practices and Possibilities
- Sarah Cook, Research Fellow for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at University of Sunderland
- Ross Parry, Lecturer in Museums and New Media at the University of Leicester Programme Director of Museum Studies at University of Leicester
This session will focus upon the ways in which new media has been taken up and used within museums. It explores how new media practices become objects to be curated, collected and archived within museums, as well as designing new media objects for interpretation and education within museums
New Media and Museums: Channels for the Future
- Will Gompertz, Director, Tate Media
- Damien Whitmore. Director of Communications, Victoria & Albert Museum
This session focuses upon the growing relationship between art and media, specifically upon the possibilities presented by online transmission for museums to take on new roles as producers and broadcasters of media.
Thursday 5 March
11.00 â€“ 13.00
Online Portals to Museums: Channels for Exchange
- John Stack, Head of Tate Online
- James Davis, Online Collection Editor, Tate Online
This session focuses upon how museum websites operate as online portals for various constituencies of online users. How porous can museum websites be within loss of identity and focus? How are questions of value and provenance negotiated?
- David Garcia, Dean of Chelsea College of Art and Design and Professor of Design for Digital Cultures, HKU
- Charlie Gere, Head of Department and Reader in New Media Research in the Department of Media, Film, and Cultural Studies, Lancaster University
- Kelli Dipple, Curator, Intermedia art
This session discusses the wider contexts of the museumâ€™s position in relationship to digital and globalised culture. How will the increasing use of information technologies across a whole spectrum of social, economic and cultural activity impact upon art practice and the value of museums?
Visual Culture, Transmigration and Spectatorship
- Dr David Dibosa, The Engine Room, University Arts London (Chair)
- Dr Raimi Gbadamosi, Artist and Writer (Observer)
This week of events will include screenings, talks and discussions looking at the different ways that people with diverse backgrounds see Tate Britain. The week features a series of films made with students from London South Bank University who joined the Tate Encounters Research team as co-researchers. The students helped explore questions about Tate Britain and the role it plays in defining British culture.
The background to the students’ work includes ideas developed by thinkers associated with the development of new critical approaches. The field of Visual Cultures has provided much impetus to studies that place the age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and race of viewers at the heart of discussions about museums. Tate Encounters has recognized that new forms of migration have also become important factors in thinking about engagements with art and culture. The ways that people move between cities and the ways in which they view art and culture as a result of such movements or ‘transmigrations’ is central to the discussions that will take place during this week.
Questions to be considered in this programme in relation to visual practices are:
- How far must cultural institutions, such as Tate Britain, be responsive to the historical and cultural perspectives of people with diverse backgrounds?
- How far do people from diverse backgrounds engage with Tate Britain, as an institution that represents Britishness?
- In what ways do people from diverse backgrounds see Tate Britain as an integral part of their broader visual culture?
- What kinds of agency can be enacted by people from diverse backgrounds within the context of Tate Britain?
The week will be chaired by Dr. David Dibosa, co-investigator for Tate Encounters.Â He will be joined by conceptual artist and writer, Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi, who will act as the week’s Observer, offering regular commentary on the week’s events. During the ‘Seeing on the Move’ sessions they will be joined by Visual Anthropologist Sarah Thomas who has conducted ethnographic research with the project’s co-researchers.
Monday 9 March
Models of practice: New Approaches to Museums Research
Recent discussions in Gallery Education practice have stressed the need to find new ways of engaging museum audiences. In particular, constituencies not normally addressed by professionals have been brought to the fore by innovative Education practices. How far can research contribute to the furthering of relevant debate and practice in this field? In this discussion, Professor Janet Holland, Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University, andÂ Dr. Veronica Sekules, Head of Education and Research at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts join the week’s chair, Dr. David Dibosa and the Observer, Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi.
A central focus for Tate Encounters has been the engagement of volunteer participants in museum practices. This has involved: the viewing of exhibitions, participation in museum events, as well as visits ‘behind the scenes’. As a result of this activity, films and other visual media works have been made collaboratively with different members of the Tate Encounters Research team. Volunteer participants who generated visual media works became more fully involved in the research process and have been called ‘co-researchers’.
This session brings a group of the Tate Encounters co-researchers together with researcher Sarah Thomas, who worked closely with several of them to produce ethnographic films tracing their life-world experience. They will be joined by Dr David Dibosa and Dr Raimi Gbadamoshi.
Tuesday 10 March
‘Seeing on the Move’: Co-researchers’ Presentations, Part I
Taking their own experience of migration as a starting point, the co-researchers in this session take a sidelong look at Tate Britain as a national institution often regarded as the custodian of British Art. Through a series of films and slideshows, the co-researchers look at issues such as the funding of national museums, the place of popular culture, the relationship of national museums to British Imperial history and the status of research.
Tate and its publics
Co-researchers Robbie Sweeny and Tracey Jordan present their work, highlighting concerns with the way cultural institutions relate to the lives of their audiences. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with Visual Anthropologist Sarah Thomas and Co-Investigator Dr. David Dibosa.Â Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present reflections on the work.
14:30 – 17.00
Co-researchers Aminah Borg-Luck and Dana MendoncaÂ present their work, opening up unasked questions regarding the financing of museums and the purposes behind research. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with Visual Anthropologist Sarah Thomas and Co-Investigator Dr. David Dibosa.Â Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present reflections on the work.
For tickets book this session online or call 020 7887 8888
Wednesday 11 March
â€˜Seeing on the Moveâ€™: Co-researchersâ€™ Presentations, Part II
The experience of the everyday takes centre-stage in these sessions. Through film and other audio-visual work, such as audioguides, co-researchers explore ways in which they can bring their own ideas to life within the museum.
Co-researchers Adekunle Detokunbo-Bello and Maria Cinta Esmel Pamies present their work, looking at ways of engaging creatively with museums beyond the conventions. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with Visual AnthropologistÂ Sarah Thomas and Co-Investigator Dr. David Dibosa.Â Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present reflections on the work.
Co-researchers Mary Ampomah, Nicola Oyejobi and Deep Rajput present their work, focusing on the way that cultural institutions reflect key issues in their lives. This session will also contain a screening of an ethnographic film looking at co-researchers’ life-worlds. This session will be followed by a panel discussion with Visual Anthropologist Sarah Thomas and Co-Investigator Dr. David Dibosa.Â Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present reflections on the work.
Thursday 12 March
‘Seeing on the Move’: Co-researchers’ Presentations, Part III
Family history has been a key feature of the Tate Encounters Research project. In this session, cultural engagement across generations plays a central part.
Co-researchers Rebecca Cairns, Jacqueline Ryan and Patrick Tubridy, present their work, asking whether Tate Britain allows people with diverse backgrounds to engage with culture across generations within families.Â This session will also contain a screening of an ethnographic film looking at co-researchers’ lives. It will be followed by a panel discussion with Visual AnthropologistÂ Sarah Thomas and Co-Investigator Dr. David Dibosa.Â Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present reflections on the work.
Friday 13 March
Although the co-researchers’ work stressed the need to find practical methods for engaging with museums, the background to Tate Encounters research as a whole has remained firmly embedded within the field of Visual Cultures. These sessions will explore the place for the co-researchers’ work within a broader intellectual field.
Visual Culture: Assembling an Analysis
This session will bring together critical thinkers who have been crucial to the development of Visual Cultures. The panel will include Professor Irit Rogoff, Professor of Visual Culture, Goldsmiths College, University of London and Dr. Marquand Smith, Principal Lecturer in Visual Culture Studies, University of Westminster. They will be joined by Dr. David Dibosa and Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi.
Review of the week
As the week of screenings and discussions draws to a close, the co-researchers will discuss the ways in which their involvement in the research process has impacted on their lives. They will be joined by Visual Anthropologist Sarah Thomas and Dr. David Dibosa. The week’s observer, Dr. Raimi Gbadamoshi will present his reflections.
Art and Politics: Uncertain Practices
Three years ago the research project Tate Encounters set out a number of original research aims which explicitly bound together the spheres of politics and art. Indeed on many accounts, from within the recently established field of museum studies, the foundation and dynamic of the museum is essentially that of a politics of the public and as such the Tate Encounters research programme is fundamentally a study in cultural politics. Firstly it framed Tate’s role in holding the National Collection of British Art at Tate Britain as a practice of the political representation of nation.Â Secondly, it framed government cultural diversity policy as a politics of civil society.
After two years of fieldwork Tate Encounters is in the process of elaborating a number of understandings about the ways in which Tate Britain produces and reproduces itself and its audience organisationally and how a group of voluntary participants with migrant backgrounds engaged with and made sense of Tate Britain as audience members. In this respect, Tate Britain has been understood as a cultural site and a potential ‘contact zone’ in negotiating transcultural, generational and class identities.
The project now aims to locate these emergent findings in the wider context of enumerating the recent history of the development of cultural diversity policy and to understand its politics and cultural outcomes. This programme aims to critically scrutinise the intellectual and political roots of cultural diversity policy through examining understandings of the politics of the policy process, and the ways in which museums responded to diversity policy. In addition, it wishes to look at the impact of a changing social demographic upon traditional cultural institutions in relationship to contemporary cultural forms of expression.
In more detail the programme. is interested in examining received thinking about multiculturalism, cultural pluralism and cultural diversity as a way of identifying both older limits and new possibilities for progressive cultural change. In doing this the project recognises the need to look at the ways in which such debates were informed by intellectual and practical thinking about race and ethnicity.
Monday 16 March
Chair: Victoria Walsh
Respondent: Mike Phillips
- Professor Paul Willis,Â Social/Cultural Ethnography, University of Keele
- Professor Andrew Dewdney, Project Director, Tate Encounters
- Dr Isabel Shaw, Research Assistant, Tate Encounters
Tuesday 17 March
Chair: Victoria Walsh
Respondent: Mike Phillips
- Mark Miller, Curator, Young Peoples Programmes
- Jennifer Batchelor, Curator, Interpretation
- Indie Choudhury, Curator, Visual Dialogues
Wednesday 18 March
Chair: Victoria Walsh
Respondent: Mike Phillips
- Faisal Abdul’Allah, artist
- Hew Locke, artist
- Raimi Gbadamosi, artist
Thursday 19 March
The Changing Status of Difference: Cultural Policy 1970 to present
Chair: Mike Phillps
Respondent: Andrew Dewdney
- Munira Mirza, Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries, Greater London Authority
- Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery
- Lola Young, independent consultant, Cultural Brokers
Friday 20 March
Sophie Orlando: A Critical Response to Tate Encounters as a Transdisciplinary Project
Respondents: Tate Encounters Research Team